Feed­ing time for swamp pol­lies

The Weekend Post - - Views - Chris Calcino

POLITI­CIANS have a lot in com­mon with the crocody­lus snag­gle­toothum, more com­monly known as the gummy salt­wa­ter crocodile of Far North Queens­land.

They cut an im­pos­ing fig­ure – all leath­ery stink and au­thor­i­ta­tive glare – but would sooner mash up lowhang­ing fruit than rip off a head.

Sal­ties, even the afore­men­tioned den­tally-chal­lenged old jalop­ies, have no sweat glands and emit not a sin­gle bead of per­spi­ra­tion even un­der im­mense pres­sure.

They re­lease heat through their big mouths.

You may have seen Mo, the fourme­tre (and de­cid­edly tooth­some) di­nosaur that hangs out be­side the Mow­bray River bridge en route to the Dain­tree.

He sits there for hours, mouth agape, just catch­ing flies with­out a care in the world – a per­fectly slack beast with a belly full of fish and the idle con­fi­dence of an apex preda­tor in its nat­u­ral habi­tat. Mo goes to the river for a rea­son. Even salt­wa­ter and brack­ish-dwelling rep­tiles have to seek out fresh streams when they get thirsty.

Well, it is al­most elec­tion time and our snag­gle-toothed leg­is­la­tors have a thirst that only an­other three years at the top of the food chain can quench.

Cairns res­i­dents should be pos­i­tively fizzing at the bung for this fed­eral elec­tion to roll up.

For months, years, decades upon decades, ter­ri­to­rial old blokes have been lurk­ing in the back­wa­ters of Can­berra for a chance to snap up dom­i­nant sta­tus.

Noth­ing new, but this time was too pub­lic and too petty to go un­no­ticed.

Turn­bull was wily but lacked the nuggets to stay on top so was skinned, tanned and sewn into a coin purse.

Dut­ton was a big lug with yams the size of bean bags but lacked the cun­ning to do more than get him­self kicked out of the pond.

Once those two had torn each other apart, that left just Mor­ri­son, Steven Brad­bury of the man­groves, ready and rear­ing to spread his fis­cal seed. Julie Bishop should have been a con­tender, of course, but this was a testos­terone-fu­elled battle for al­pha male feed­ing rights. She never stood a chance. Amid all this ridicu­lous­ness, we poor parched wal­la­bies watched war­ily from the wa­ter’s edge, hop­ing to get a sip with­out los­ing our heads.

Bill Shorten, the big scaly scal­ly­wag, has been float­ing about in a nearby la­goon ready to stake a claim.

He will win un­less the Coali­tion digs deep and buys the love of a pub­lic that is sick of all the non­sense. Here’s what will hap­pen. MYEFO will roll around in De­cem­ber, and the gov­ern­ment will mirac­u­lously dis­cover an ab­so­lute shed­load of funds avail­able.

Money has been hid­den away in port­fo­lios like so many semi-sub­merged car­casses and ScoMo’s mob now has a mas­sive elec­tion war chest.

The bud­get is in good re­pair, we will be told.

So it is time to sen­si­bly splurge on ne­glected in­fra­struc­ture.

A mini-bud­get will likely be re­leased in March, an elec­tion called in April, vot­ers go­ing to the booths in May and a for­mal bud­get pushed back to June.

They need as much space as poss- ible be­tween last month’s lu­nacy and the poll.

At this point, Bill Shorten would have to head­butt a McDon­ald’s worker for an early elec­tion to be called.

This all means the Far North has an enor­mous op­por­tu­nity to ag­i­tate for in­fra­struc­ture projects that have been ig­nored for too long.

Ex­tend­ing the Na­tional High­way to fi­nally fix the north­ern beaches traf­fic jams, get­ting a business case for a new Ku­randa Range cross­ing, sta­teof-the-art marine precinct trans­for­ma­tion – they are all up for grabs.

If Palaszczuk will not help, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment needs to go it alone – and the Op­po­si­tion will have to fol­low suit or give up en­tirely.

Le­ich­hardt MP War­ren Entsch will keep blam­ing the State Gov­ern­ment for stalling, but vot­ers will not accept that.

The term crocodile tears comes from the an­cient be­lief that crocs cried while con­sum­ing their prey.

It has come to mean a fake dis­play of grief or emo­tional hypocrisy.

Crocodiles re­ally do pro­duce tears but not through sad­ness or guilt.

They are lu­bri­cat­ing their eyes be­cause they have been out of the wa­ter for too long, feast­ing on rot­ting ca­dav­ers in the mud.

THE TERM CROCODILES TEARS COMES FROM THE AN­CIENT BE­LIEF THAT CROCS CRIED WHILE CON­SUM­ING THEIR PREY. IT HAS COME TO MEAN A FAKE DIS­PLAY OF GRIEF ...

SNACK SNAP: Ac­tion at the crocodile farm at Porm­pu­raaw.

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